Hello, I’m Chris.
I was born in a small village in Leeds in 1982 to young parents who married out of convenience and divorced out of necessity when I was 6 years old. I was brought up by my Mum, a single parent who struggled both financially, and with mental health challenges. At age 11, my younger brother and I moved in with my father in an ex-mining village in Wakefield and I was separated from my mother and younger sister for 7-years. As an outsider in my teenage years, I developed a skill set to survive and thus created a host of limiting beliefs and negative emotions which I bottled up and held onto until my twenties. I describe my childhood as no more or less challenging than the next person but I respect that it led to problems in my early adult years.
I entered adulthood unsure of my place in the world and without an understanding of or connection to my authentic self. This lead to battles with depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder which I temporarily and regularly overcame with overspending, high-achievement and sacrificing my needs for others. I was a self-confessed self-help junkie and I am passionate about all areas of personal development. Through self-study, I managed to overcome some of my historic challenges with low confidence and low self-esteem. A short period of counseling supported me in gaining a deeper understanding of my challenges but failed to give me the freedom I desired.
In 2012, at the age of 29, I decided to take responsibility for my life and my goal to be my authentic self; less who I was and more who I wanted to be. I fought and overcame the overwhelming feeling of turning your life around and connected to the motivation I needed to maintain change. Since then, I have furthered my studies into human potential, achieving qualifications as NLP Master Coach Practitioner, Master Practitioner of Time Line Therapy, Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and I am a Certified Learning and Development Specialist. My greatest achievement is overcoming my mental health challenges and committing to follow my dreams to live life on my own terms. Following a successful career leading Learning and Development departments in Financial Services (the outcome of an unhealthy obsession with high achievement and success as defined by others), I decided to leave this period of my life and set up my own life coaching practice.
I experienced, first-hand, the positive impact of life coaching and NLP therapy on supporting a person to completely transform their life and be who they were intended to be. Free from negative events and limiting beliefs, and a clear defined plan of action to support them in achieving their full, authentic potential. My mission is to simply inspire, guide and support individuals to be more tomorrow than they are today.
What motivated you to become a coach?
I was introduced to coaching in my early twenties in my first role as a manager in a finance company. The internal training was great and introduced me to the main coaching tools used to support a person from going from A to B. The training focused on performance and I remember thinking at the time, ‘I could use some of this stuff in my life.’ I think at the time I thought I’d invented the concept of life coaching, little did I know there was a thriving industry building up around me!
I started using the coaching tools in order to achieve personal and professional goals, and I found I could make an impact on all areas of my life. When I started using the techniques both professionally with my team members, and personally with my friends and family, I became hooked on how a good question and a strong coaching model could support an individual to make a change or achieve a goal.
At this point, I knew I wanted to focus on building a career in coaching and here began my obsession with the personal development industry.
What do you love most about coaching people?
There are so many things I love about being given the opportunity to work in partnership with people and coach them. If I had to select the one thing I get the biggest buzz from it has to be… The moment within a coaching session when you ask the absolute perfect question for that time and that client. This results in the client having a major ‘A-HA’ moment on a level they may never have achieved before. Suddenly their answer to the question creates a level of change in their life that they may not have anticipated and in that moment coaching has worked it’s magic.
Clients experience this moment and I often support them in understanding it more by sharing my interpretation of the A-HA moments I have had in my life.
“Imagine your life is a finely set dining table and suddenly the tablecloth has been ripped from underneath, everything on the table wobbles a little, finds its place again and seems the same. Yet fundamentally, the table is now completely changed”
Was there a special moment in time when you just knew you had to become a coach? What happened?
Absolutely! Secretly I think I created this moment in order for it one day to make a great opening to a book and a great answer to an interview question! I’d been studying the personal development industry for 10-years, taking training, attending conferences, reading books and generally feasting out on everything I could find linked to supporting individuals to achieve their potential, and ultimately achieving my own.
At the time I decided to become a full-time life coach, I was maintaining and enjoying a successful career as Head of Learning and Development in a Finance company. I’d invested in a 2-day personal development seminar called Get the Life You Want, hosted by Richard Bandler, the co-creator of NLP, and Paul McKenna, known for hypnotherapy and his many self-help books. I’d attended the event with the intention of seeing two NLP masters in action and documenting how they did what they did. Within minutes I knew I was going to fail to achieve that goal as I was completely enthralled by the content they were sharing and became committed to getting the life I wanted, now.
In short, I left the seminar on Sunday and walked into my job on Monday and resigned. Whilst I don’t recommend this approach for everybody, I’m pleased to say it worked for me, although it hasn’t been easy.
“I do think there is a time in everyone’s life where they have to seize the moment, commit to themselves and then work it out!”
What’s so amazing about coaching?
I love a segue, following on from the last question, I think one of the most amazing things about coaching is being able to support a person to ‘work it out.’ My clients often arrive at their coaching feeling overwhelmed, like life is a little out of control, or they feel stuck in a rut and are not completely sure where they’re meant to be. For the majority of clients, it takes 60-minutes or less for them to begin to feel more in control and achieving a level of clarity which will support them to begin to make an immediate change for the better. It’s the initial impact a coach can have with a client which I think is amazing.
This initial impact is equally matched by the huge life changes a person can create with the long-term support of a coach. The regular opportunity to be held accountable for achieving their goals, to discuss failures and get back on track, and celebrate success, are some of the prime benefits of coaching.
Completing final sessions with clients, seeing before me a person completely changed from the person I began working with, I experience one of my biggest challenges as a coach. Clients are thankful and rightfully emotional when they consider how far they have come and whilst they want to bestow credit on me I see their success as completely that, their success. I’ve been fortunate to be part of their journey.
EXPERIENCE THE POSTIVE IMPACT OF COACHING FOR YOURSELF | BOOK A CHEMISTRY CALL
Your Chemistry Call is an opportunity to review how you would like coaching to impact your life. We’ll discuss the changes you want to make and the goals you want to achieve. You’ll gain a greater understanding of the role of coaching and be in the best position to make a decision about using coaching as the solution to achieve the life you desire and deserve. Until we speak… be more tomorrow than you are today.